Public Works Director Michael Selling asked Galt City Council to approve a service contract with Aclara to collect data on the city’s water meters during the Feb. 18 meeting at City Hall. Since 2016, the Global Company, who installed the water meters and seven collection units, has provided that service to the city but, according to Selling, is no longer able to continue that service. Council approved the motion 5-0.

The contract is for just a year with the option for five 1-year extensions at $48,000 per year. There will be a one-time cost of $32,560 to upgrade the seven collection units.

Selling also asked council to approve negotiations with the Sacramento County Transit (SCT) Link. Previously, the city paid for storage of the buses but now the city owns the building and will have to renegotiate what cost SCT Link will cover and what the city will contribute. Vice Mayor Rich Lozano pointed out that this would extend the Nov. 30 deadline to seal the contract, giving the city time to negotiate details.

Interim City Manager Tom Haglund asked council to appoint a councilmember to the newly formed Sacramento Homeless Policy Council (SHPC).

“The council is made up of members from Sacramento, Sacramento County, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Isleton and Galt,” Haglund said. “This council will meet three times a year and discuss what is happening in their region regarding the homeless.”

Haglund said SHPC would also meet with the Sacramento Steps Forward and the Sacramento Continuum of Care Advisory Board. Two members will be represented from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

Community Planning Director Chris Erias asked council to provide $160,000 that will be reimbursed from a state planning grant to be used to clean up planning maps, rezone inner city properties and update codes. Erias said the state would soon hand down mandates for cities to provide zoning for high-density residences, making housing more affordable. Erias asked council to approve the money so Raney Planning and Management can be hired.

Council member Shawn Farmer asked why he wanted to use the money for consultants.

“Our staff is just not big enough to do the work,” Erias said.

Referring to the staff report, Farmer said the work could require up to 400 hours worth of work for the project, which was then confirmed by Erias.

Farmer asked how many were on staff at the planning department. Erias replied there are five staff members, and the department has one open position.

Work from Raney will also include a traffic study. According to Erias, when zoning is changed to a higher density, traffic has to be considered. He said there would be plenty of work for staff to do once the changes are in the works.

“We’ll have the challenge of working with property owners,” Erias said. “We’ll also have to hear from neighbors of the properties. We plan to have two town hall meetings to answer questions and hear from those involved.”

Council approved the motion 5-0 in favor of fronting the $160,000 until the grant repays the costs.